SODOM AND GOMORRAH – THE INFLUENCE OF SODOM

GEN. 19: 29-38

What influences did Sodom have on Lot and his family? How deep-seated were such influences? Why did God spare them from the destruction?

“So when God destroyed the cities of the plain, he remembered Abraham, and he brought Lot out of the catastrophe that overthrew the cities where Lot had lived.” . Lot was Abram’s chief concern in his intercession with God for Sodom , and his rescue from the catastrophe was an answer to Abram’s request, as Lot was the only righteous person in Sodom. This can be related to God’s promise to Abram where God said: “all people on earth will be blessed” through Abram. “When he hesitated, the men grasped his hand and the hands of his wife and of his two daughters and led them safely out of the city, for the LORD was merciful to them.”

THE DETERIORATION OF LOT’S TESTIMONY

As a righteous man living in a wicked and sinful city, Lot had his work cut out for him. He may have defended his decision to live in Sodom by trying to make things better there but he accepted their ways and was eventually one like them. If he had any desire to pray for or witness to his fellow citizens, he would have seen that such would have been inappropriate, for his circumstances and long association with their wicked ways had set him on quite a different footing compared to Abram. On the eve of the disaster Lot sadly came to recognize that he no longer could influence anyone for God, since all the years he lived there he had done little or nothing to persuade anyone to repent of their sin. Such is the state to which any Christian in society is brought when they risk their spiritual life to make the most of this world! It is equally useless for Christians today to try to make the world a better place, for our task is to bring people to Christ, who alone can change their hearts and ways, and it is thus extremely important that we bear a clear positive witness of the gospel so as to influence lost souls!


THE EFFECT ON LOT

He was reluctant to leave the city, even though it was doomed for destruction, “When he hesitated, the men grasped his hand and the hands of his wife and of his two daughters and led them safely out” . He was not willing to break with his former ways: city life; the comfort of a home instead of a tent, nor did he not know what it was to step out in faith with the God he professed to know. Some Christians are like this; they are unwilling to forsake everything that pertains to the old life of sin, and are intent on holding on to some pet sin or worldly pleasure.
THE EFFECT ON LOT’S WIFE
“But Lot’s wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.” ; She too was reluctant to leave all her possessions and comforts of city life although they were warned by the angels not to stop or look back, she could not resist the temptation. As the fire and brimstone came falling from the sky, she was entombed as a symbol of those who value worldly things more than spiritual.

THE EFFECT ON LOT’S CHILDREN

The mentality of Sodom was so thoroughly absorbed by Lot’s daughters, they found it impossible to reason correctly; “One day the older daughter said to the younger, “Our father is old, and there is no man around here to lie with us, as is the custom all over the earth. Let’s get our father to drink wine and then lie with him and preserve our family line through our father.” . Such thoughts and actions display the kind of teaching they received in Sodom’s schools; since there was no thought of God, no knowledge of His Word, no concern for His will, no concept of His care, no prayer, or thought that such a proposal was morally wrong, no shame or sorrow, sense of sin or concept of the holiness of God. They were spiritually dead and a sad picture of a Christian family. It is ironic that, in his drunkenness, Lot carried out the shameful act that he himself had suggested to the men of Sodom – a similarity to the last days of Noah. Thus, those who were saved from God’s wrath subsequently fell into a form of sin similar to those who died in the judgment; and this account serves as a warning to Christian parents that those who bring up their children in worldly pleasures, and no proper instruction on God’s word, may live to regret it. The influences of peers and an ungodly school system is more than our children can handle. There MUST be a Godly influence in our homes!

HOW DO WE ACCOMPLISH THIS?      

“These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.” .

THE END OF LOT’S CAREER
“So both of Lot’s daughters became pregnant by their father. The older daughter had a son, and she named him Moab; he is the father of the Moabites of today. The younger daughter also had a son, and she named him Ben-Ammi; he is the father of the Ammonites of today.” . He ended up making no positive contribution to the life of faith as compared to Abram since He chose the sensual worldly pathway. He left the fellowship of the faith at the earliest possible moment and appears never to have been restored so his family ended in disaster. God, however, allowed some good to come of his errors for Lot ends up fathering sons from both of his daughters; Moab and Ben-Ammi, and Moses later delivers God’s instructions to Israel in regards to the Moabites and Ammonites: “Then the LORD said to me, “Do not harass the Moabites or provoke them to war, for I will not give you any part of their land. I have given Ar to the descendants of Lot as a possession.” When you come to the Ammonites, do not harass them or provoke them to war, for I will not give you possession of any land belonging to the Ammonites. I have given it as a possession to the descendants of Lot.” . They are referred to as the descendants of Lot and God had intended that they live in peace with Israel. This pictured them as survivors of God’s judgment and recipients of His mercy; they were, however, excluded from Israel’s worship: “No Ammonite or Moabite or any of his descendants may enter the assembly of the LORD, even down to the tenth generation. For they did not come to meet you with bread and water on your way when you came out of Egypt, and they hired Balaam ….. to pronounce a curse on you.”. Their territories were located to the southeast of Israel’s territory, and frequently came into conflict with the Israelites; in later years they provided a safe refuge for Jews fleeing the Babylonian conquest of Judah . Ruth, a Moabite, was included in the genealogy of our Lord Jesus Christ.

In contrast to the end of Abram’s career, we find that Lot was saved from the destruction but his influences, through his descendants, delayed the progress of God’s people Israel; and in similarity, a worldly Christian may be saved from the penalty and destruction of sin, but the worldly influences for which he/she is responsible delays and hinders the progress of Christ’s kingdom.

YOU HAVEN’T LIVED THE LIFE!

“A minister was called to the bedside of a dying girl, who had lived for and enjoyed the sinful things of this Christ-­rejecting world. The faithful minister did his best to reason with her to see her need of the Saviour, pleading, praying and quoting God’s Word to her. Seemingly he could make no impression on the dying girl. As a final effort, he called in her mother. The mother, with heart­-breaking sorrow, also pled with the girl to accept Christ as her Saviour. The girl listened insensitively, and then she said these accusing words to her mother, “Mother, you can’t talk to me now.” YOU HAVEN’T LIVED THE LIFE BEFORE ME!” How great will be OUR accountability before God if we, by low lustful living, cause others to stumble into hell over us!” (source Knights Master Book of New Illustrations)

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